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Patient Safety Incidents: NHS publish their latest report
10 November 2022
Data on the number of Patient Safety Incidents in NHS Trusts was published on 13 October 2022.
Toni Hall, a trainee solicitor within TRUE’s Clinical Negligence Department, reviews this latest report and identifies the most poignant findings from such an unstable time.
A Patient Safety Incident is defined as any unintended or unexpected incident which could have, or did lead to harm for one or more patients, received in a healthcare setting.
Between April 2021 and March 2022 there were 689,745 incidents reported. This transpires to 1,890 cases per day. 70.6% of those incidents resulted in no harm, 26% resulted in low harm and fewer than 4% led to high degrees of harm. Out of the 689,745 incidents, 72% of those incurred in an acute or general hospital. Examples of those incidents include a failure to provide or monitor a patient’s care, breakdowns in communication, insufficient staffing, a missed diagnosis or an out-of-control infection spreading throughout a healthcare setting.
COVID-19 placed considerable extra burdens on the NHS and all its staff. Although the time in question was more towards the end of the Pandemic, its effects could still be seen throughout the NHS. It placed considerable extra burdens on both the NHS and its staff, however, the position taken by the National Patient Safety Team was that staff should continue to report any Patient Safety Incidents throughout the pandemic. Given that the definition of a Patient Safety Incident includes an out-of-control infection, the spreading of COVID through a hospital would constitute an incident.
Link: NHS Negligence Claims
John McQuater, the President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, stated that: “…the most recent figures of Patient Safety Incidents shows the urgent need for an overhaul of the approach to the patient safety crisis. Behind the numbers are suffering patients and bereaved families who are falling victim to repeated failures in care…”
Whether any of the incidents would result in a clinical negligence claim would depend on a number of factors. We can investigate Patient Safety Incidents, where the patient has suffered from harm, to determine if there was any negligence.
In order to establish a claim for clinical negligence you must be able to establish two tests adopted in English Law:
- The standard of care provided to you fell below a reasonable standard that you could expect to receive. This is known as a breach of duty. If you establish this, then you would subsequently need to show:
- That there was harm caused as a direct result of the breach. This is known as causation.
What can we do to help you?
If you or someone you know has suffered a Patient Safety Incident at the hands of the NHS and suffered harm as a result, speak to TRUE today on 0344 854 7000. We have a team of highly experienced, compassionate specialists who can investigate a claim on your behalf.
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